A Vancouver man was arrested Wednesday night following numerous reports of shots fired in different parts of the city from a moving pickup. Police are still investigating the incident.
The driver, Richard Reed, 24, was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said in an email. He was not listed on the Clark County Jail roster Thursday afternoon.
People have been hotly debating on social media about what happened.
“The investigation is continuing, and it has not been determined yet if there were any shots fired or if the vehicle was backfiring,” Kapp said.
Emergency dispatchers fielded a flood of calls between 8:30 and 9 p.m. The source of the potential shots was narrowed to a white pickup, Vancouver police Sgt. Kevin Barton said.
Around 9 p.m., an officer relayed that he was passed by the truck. Soon after, police stopped it and held three people at gunpoint at the intersection of Minnehaha and Northeast St. Johns Road, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian. Several streets around the intersection were blocked.
A few minutes later, the three occupants of the pickup were detained, Barton said.
Brandon Zacharias, 20, of Vancouver said Thursday that he was one of the three people detained. He said no firearms were inside Reed’s 1999 Ford F-250, which was backfiring due to a faulty gas pedal.
“We really didn’t do anything,” Zacharias said.
Reed, Zacharias and another friend were driving on Northeast St. Johns Road, near Northeast 52nd Street, toward an Arco gas station to buy cigarettes, Zacharias said. They didn’t hear or see anything suspicious during the five-minute trip, he said.
After purchasing the cigarettes, the friends headed south on St. Johns Road when they saw two police cars speed past them. The police cars quickly made a U-turn in the truck’s direction, Zacharias said.
The pickup was stopped at a red light when police cars surrounded it on all sides. Police yelled at them to show their hands, Zacharias said.
“All you heard was screaming, ‘Put your hands out!’” he said.
Zacharias said Reed was forcefully taken to the ground while being arrested. Zacharias and the other rider in the pickup, meanwhile, were handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car. They were free to leave about two hours later.
“It was blown just way out of proportion,” Zacharias said.